That's what la maestra says to us at Griffin's first parent-teacher conference last week.
Ed and I glance at each other, surprised, a little guilty.
She goes on to explain that she and her aide have both noticed that Griffin is picking up a lot of vocabulary that they aren't explicitly teaching in their Spanish immersion classroom--song lyrics, words on posters, things the adults say in passing. She also professes amazement that Griffin doesn't seem to be experiencing the "silent period" in language acquisition, where learners listen and absorb before they start producing the language spontaneously. (Think, for example, of how much babies and toddlers have to hear before they can speak.)
This, of course, is a huge surprise to us, because Griffin usually answers questions about what he did at school that day with "je ne sais pas"(I don't know) and "je ne m'en souviens pas"(I don't remember). (Isn't that supposed to be more of an older kid's attitude? Oh well, he's a precocious little boy.) What new words did you learn today? None. Which kids did you play with on the playground? I don't know their names. What did you have for snack? Yogurt--no, graham crackers--no, I don't remember. Can you sing us a song from school today? What song? Any song! Any song? Yes! No.
Anyway, we are beyond thrilled to hear his teacher tell us that Griffin is a language whiz, but we do have to confess that no, actually, we haven't done anything at home to enrich his Spanish--Ed doesn't speak it and I refuse to give up any of our precious French time!
|Griffin doesn't tell us much about his arts and crafts projects, either--in any language!